Just a small update as like for most people, Covid has ruined this year but at least we have our Zeds to put a smile on our faces. After last update and being bored with the standard engine cover I decided to buy some gold spray cans and give a touch of colour to the bay and try and make the shiney air boxes blend in a little more. It turned out ok and certainly captures the eye when i open the hood now. Is it ok to say hood, watching all this youtube content in lockdown has me fully americanised.
I then had my first hillclimb event of the year at the beginning of August (finally) and while i was a little rusty it just about stayed dry all day and it was refreshing to stretch the cars legs, although i had taken it out for some spirited drives over the summer, its not the same as actually flooring it on a track. My times were a little off but very consistent, in the 65's all day with best being 65.64 and good enough for second in class (out of 13)
During August I decided to have another go and painting the front bumper. I had rushed it far too quickly last time resulting in a shower of s6!t finish and it may be no show car anymore, it still needs to be presentable in the paddock. So bumper spray job part duex ensued and this time putting the base colour down as a mist, 3 light coats followed by one light clear coat, then 2 heavy coats of clear. left overnight to dry/cure. then wet sanded back with P800 and P1200 resulting in this:
Then hand polished with a gtechniq hand polishing sponge, course side (white) with some scholl S3 compound i had left then the soft side (black) with some S40 for the finish. I opted to do by hand with plenty of elbow grease as the DA polisher was just not cutting it. It was taking 3 times as long to get the same results. Just confirming that DA machines may be great for finishing they are too "safe" for heavy cutting if required. Anyway final result was this, which for a diy job in the garage i was happy with, overall 6/10 rather than the 2/10 i had before. I did finish with my right bicep a good 1" bigger than my left counterpart:
What I will add is that if like me, you decide to do this inside, cover everything. I masked up the floor in front and the engine bay and wheels behind but the overspray from the base coat and clear goes f-ing everywhere! literally, it gets where water can't. Luckily as the car is ceramic coated, the layer of whatever it is was sat on top of the paintwork so a quick snowfoam and wash afterwards cleared the mess, not sure how lucky i would have been if either the car paint was "bare" or i'd left it several days/weeks before cleaning.
Next up was installing some bits i'd had lying around for months. If you have read this build from the beginning then apart from being in solitary confinement with only this to look at, you will know that I have had issues with the clutch fluid boiling. I put some heat sleeve on all the lines I could see running close to the cats (obviously the heat issue is made worse by the high flow cats not having heat shields like the OEM ones. I also wrapped the main clutch line in some gold tape i had left over from the air boxes and then (after this photo) cable tied where i needed to make sure everything stayed in placed.
Then I had been umming and arring for a while on whether to put some heat wrap on the exhaust so just bit the bullet and went for it. I had 10mt of volcano wrap bought on E-bay. It doesn't state what volcano it comes from but i suspect its one in China!! This was only enough to do the CATS so i had to purchase some more from a local car shop. This was the standard fibreglass stuff which is all they had so i used that for the y-pipe and finished it off there, I think there is little point doing any further along, there may be little point doing any of the exhaust reading the internet but what the hell. I started the car and left it running for 15-20 mins to cure the wrap as per instructions. It does smoke a bit and stinks and you certainly have to open the hood if your stationary to let the smoke/fumes out. The next day i sprayed some high temp silicone spray over the wrap purchased from Demon-Tweeks which supposidly helps seal the exterior preventing moisture and dirt getting engrained into the wrap and causing corrosion.
The problem I have is that i was doing this in the garage with car on axle stands, I barely had enough room to scratch my ar5e let alone install the wrap so it wasn't anywhere near as tight as it should be and I struggled to get it taught around the cats which chamfer out and in, I just had to do best i could and use lots of jubilee clips but there are still small gaps here and there so crap can get in. Worth noting i used white silicone spray so finish isn't the most aesthetically pleasing but it was the only colour in stock, you can get black and others if you prefer.
While under the car i chose to put some underseal around the kidney brackets as like many, they were starting to rust even though i'd protected them previously, so out with the wire brush to scrape off the loose rust and brush on a heavy coat of underseal:
I have just remembered, I paid another visit to Horsham sometime in the last few months to try and sort out an issue I had with the revs dropping and car spluttering around 2k revs. I also needed to get the car mapped again as i had also replaced the high flow cats and y-pipe courtesy of @buster in order to try and free up a few more ponies. It was after this install the car developed the problem with the revs (nothing to do with the exhaust) As usual for me I didn't take any photos at Tarmac HQ or Horsham but it was great to see Bob again and the guys at Tarmac for the first time, you don't need me to tell you, pay them a visit if you need anything for your Zed, likewise the guys at Horsham. Jez did manage to replicate the stuttering and put it down to the VVT controllers sticking which is a semi-common fault. He has managed to map most of it out and get me 2 extra BHP so its only evident in nuetral now but to fix it for good i am gonna need some used VVT bits from Zmanalex at £200 or new from Nissan at £2k I know which way i will be going.
Fast forward to last week and it was the second event at Harewood, weather was the same as previous, dry but very cold for August (about 14 degrees) and very windy on the hill so it was never going to be a record setting day but nether the less on Run 2 I put in a flawless run to net a 64.61 Think this is third best ever so given the conditions and the fact the grip was just not there, i was chuffed, every corner on the run hooked up and i even managed to get the car launched semi-reasonable. I have just come to the conclusion that starting "normally" and feeding the throttle in over 2-3 seconds is quicker than any other method at Harewood. Overall I was second in class again (out of 12) missing out on win by 0.15 secs
Car was looking good, just noticed I have also fitted some quick release bolts for front bumper as i was fed up cutting my hands getting into the wheel wells every month. Another quick mod although I cringed when i was drilling the wings (fenders if you like) I have actually done a fair bit looking back. Photo below of some of the class, including a fully stripped out GT4 Aston (that if it was a regular championship event I don't think would be in this class)
And Finally last week, the family and I had a much needed break in Wales. I will leave you with the view from the top of our hill: